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HomeHealth'Cancer is still a taboo’ say Harrow Asian women’s group

‘Cancer is still a taboo’ say Harrow Asian women’s group

Macmillan Cancer Support has granted just under £11,000 to the Asian Women Cancer Group in Harrow to fund a groundbreaking series of workshops aimed at breaking the silence around cancer among Asian women in the community.

These workshops are designed to create a safe and supportive environment for women to openly discuss their experiences and rebuild their self-confidence after undergoing cancer treatment.

Emma Hammett, Macmillan Engagement Lead for London, noted the importance of such initiatives, saying, “A lot of the people I work with tell me that cancer has damaged their self-confidence. Treatment can leave them with physical scars or body changes such as hair loss. There is also the emotional trauma of a cancer diagnosis, which can affect people for years afterwards.”

The Asian Women Cancer Group is a vital resource for individuals like Saudamini, a 68-year-old retired Bank Manager from Queensbury in Harrow who was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

Sharing her experience, Saudamini stated, “I think that cancer is still a taboo within the Asian community. The group gives us a confidential space to talk. Within the Asian community, there is still a culture where women get suppressed a lot more than men. Just being with other women who are going through cancer helps us to feel we are not alone and like we can open up.”

Saudamini’s diagnosis coincided with her husband Vipendra’s diagnosis of bladder cancer, adding to the emotional challenges she faced.

'Cancer is still a taboo’ say Harrow Asian women’s group Harrow Online
Image: Macmillian Cancer Support

The Asian Women Cancer Group relies on grants like the one provided by Macmillan to continue its critical work. The Macmillan-funded workshops offered by the group cover a wide range of topics, including expert talks from medical professionals such as psychologists and breast cancer surgeons, self-care workshops focusing on mindfulness, exercise classes, and hair and beauty sessions, all aimed at helping women regain their confidence after cancer treatment.

On September 12th, the Asian Women Cancer Group organised a Macmillan Coffee Morning, a significant annual fundraising event for the charity. The event raised an impressive £745 to support people living with cancer.

Macmillan Coffee Morning is a cornerstone of Macmillan Cancer Support’s fundraising efforts and raised over £12 million for individuals affected by cancer last year. To learn more about hosting your own coffee morning, visit the Macmillan website.